Carmina Burana Review        25th November 2017



Verdi Requiem Review        26th November 2016


Bach Magnificat and Vivaldi Magnificat Review        21 May 2016

Holybourne Singers’ latest concert in Petersfield, performing to yet another capacity audience on Saturday, did little to disappoint. The Choir, a little over 5 years old, left the audience in little doubt that they had earned their reputation as one of the strongest choral sounds in Hampshire.

The programme, a delightful mix of Baroque masterworks, was overall a very professional and polished performance. The Choir had a powerful sound that filled the Church, and under their charismatic Director, Rebekah Abbott they seemed to create an electric environment in the Church throughout the evening.

The young soloists acquitted themselves well. Soprano Ella de Jongh made an enchanting sound, especially in Bach’s Quia Respexit. Meanwhile, Contralto Johanna Harrison and Tenor Robin Horgan blended beautifully in their duet Et Misericordia from Bach’s Magnificat. Robin was also a particular delight in Deposuit Potentes. Bass-Baritone Sebastian Charlesworth, had impeccable accuracy and quality of tone throughout.

The choir, performing Vivaldi and Bach’s Magnificat as the main works of the evening, made some profound and exciting musical statements. Their performance of the Bach, an incredibly intricate and tricky work, was sung well and accurately. More could perhaps have been made of the part entries and more attention to light and shade would have been preferable. The performance of the Vivaldi showed lots of colour and stillness amongst the furore of movements such as ‘Fecit Potentiam’. Overall, the Choir blended well and had an electric concentration on their director. Of particular note were the Tenor section, who came over brilliantly; their bright and accurate sound blending well with the other voice parts.

One particularly lovely touch was that throughout the evening, soloists were picked from the choir to perform some of the smaller solo parts. The choir’s capacity to demonstrate the quality of so many individual voices is a testament to the abilities of the choir as a whole.

This was also the inaugural performance of Holybourne Singers Chamber Choir. This smaller group not only provided a contrast to the main choir, but produced a very expressive and clear balanced sound in the performances of both the Monteverdi Beatus Vir and Tomkins’ Magnificat.

One audience goer commented ‘it was a truly wonderful evening. The choir delighted the audience’.

Holybourne Singers’ next concert, “Anyone for Pimms?”, takes place on 16th July in the Martin Read Hall at Alton College. This concert promises to be an exciting mix of English and Italian Music, from classical to contemporary; Opera Choruses to Musicals and will most certainly have something for everyone. The concert will also be the opportunity to hear the choir perform some light-hearted music, a two minute Messiah and a song about Geese! This concert will see performances from the Holybourne Singers, the Holybourne Singers Chamber Choir and the Holybourne Singers Young Voices. The open-air interval will include Pimms and Jazz to complement the no-doubt summer evening! Tickets are available via and nearer the time from Waterstones, Alton.

Edward Russell

21 May 2016


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